Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reflections on 2009/looking forward to '10

First, I want to say thank you to all of my readers who have supported me. I have a few more miles to run in training but all of my races and time trials are in the books for 2009. Here are the results at the 6 major distances:
400 m: 61.22 Goal: 59.9
1 Mile: Improved from 5:30 to 5:22 Goal: 5:15
5K: 19:58 to 19:27 (10/mile) Goal: 19:00
10K 42:43 to 41:43 (10/mile) Goal: 40:00
Half 1:42:38 to 1:32:57 (44/mile) Goal: 1:30:00
Full 3:56:03 to 3:43:22 (29/mile) Goal: 3:10:59
Overall, I can say that 2009 was a good running year for me. Perhaps my greatest triumph came in an unrelated matter when I got a new job in Birmingham in spite of a hiring freeze.
Year in review:
-Post high school PRs at 400, Mile and 5K.
-All time PRs at 10K, Half and Full.
-Room for improvement at every distance if conditions were optimal (flat course, close competition, ideal weather).
-2 significant rough periods, one in early Spring, one in early Fall.
-Avoided a major running injury for the third straight year.
-11 races (6 local, 5 out of town). 4 5Ks, 1 8K, 3 10Ks, 2 Halves, 1 Full.
-3 top 10 finishes, 4 age group awards.
Biggest surprise: the 400. I never thought my speed would come back the way it has (thank you Johnny).
Most proud of : the half marathon. Before the energy crash in 2005, a 7:05 pace would have been a PR for 10K. Now, I can maintain it for more than twice that distance.
Training: I was hoping to run 2000 miles this year and it looks like I will fall just short. My average weekly mileage was in the upper 30s. Edit: I totaled 1993 miles (38.2/wk) and finished with an average weekly GPA of 2.95. That’s fine for a 10K and it’ll do for a half marathon but not for a full. When symptom free, I can run 50+ with relative ease and have twice hit 60. The key is consistency.
I want to stay in the range of 9-12 races per year. More than 1 race per month is too much in my opinion. If I can get close competition, I may enter an open track meet to take a shot at the Mile and/or 400 goal. I plan on doing fewer 5-10Ks, more half marathons but will not run more than 2 marathons per year. My marathon PR really stands out as soft (almost 1:30/mile slower than my half) so I expect that this is where I will show my greatest improvement.
2010 plans (all Lord willing)
The first third of the year will be primarily high volume in preparation for these races.
Jan- 3M Austin, TX half
Feb- Mercedes Marathon (full)
Mar- ING Atlanta, GA half
Apr- Country Music half
After that, I will shift to more speed work as the Alabama summer heats up. Racing will be limited to local 5Ks and maybe one or two open track meets. I believe that my lifetime goals in the 400, Mile and 5K are achievable in my current condition and Johnny agrees. After it cools down, the focus will shift back to marathon training. If my chemistry is closer to balance and I can train at 55-60 MPW, I believe that I can run a 3:10 and qualify for Boston by December.
If this is the year that I meet my goals, I will keep training and racing but there will be no obsession with taking my running to the next level (sub-3 marathon, sub-5 Mile) by running 80-100 miles per week. That type of volume is more likely to result in burnout than shaving a few seconds per mile off my times. Let's say that I get all of my numbers in balance and train at 60 MPW but it's not enough to reach my goals because of talent limitations, that's fine. I will not get bent out of shape over it and am counting on certain people to call me out if I do.

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